Working with a new SMART client this week it occurred to me that one of things I do in my business is educate people on the order of things when it comes to effectively marketing their business. When it comes to marketing, like any other type of planning, you have to understand how one thing moves into the next.

So when my new client asked me during our first consult this week if she could “just put together a flyer and be done with it”, I knew it was time to talk to her a little more about process and creating a brand strategy before executing any marketing tactics.

The conversation went something like this,

“I want to put out a flyer with an offer on it,” says my client.

“What do you want the flyer to say?” I asked.

“I don’t care,” she said. “As long as they know they’ll get 20% off of any item if they come in before November 1st.”

That’s when I stopped her.

“In order for anyone to be interested enough to come into your shop to take advantage of the offer, and since you’re a relatively new business just getting off the ground, we really need to have some compelling copy backing up the offer so people can understand why they should buy this product from you- and not your competitor.”

Customers needed to understand her brand story, as well as the offer she was making. Essentially, I told her we better drill it back a bit and figure out what makes her company (and her products for that matter, unique).

Discovery is essential…and the first step

As we delved into a big picture analysis of what she wants her business to be and who she wants to sell her products to, she began to see how important it was to get her brand right before marketing her business.

This is not unusual. New business owners, in particular, are usually super amped to get things moving and moving fast. But what I see typically is little planning and too much money spent on the wrong things too soon with little return on investment. Sometimes you really need to step back and get perspective on just what you want to do, be and say with your business before you can sell it.

The Trifecta for Triumph

Knowing who you are, what you do or sell, and who you want to sell to are what I call, The Trifecta for Triumph in business.

These three things need to be solid before you can start communicating- or trying to — with your target audiences. They are also the first three elements in determining the order of things when it comes to marketing.

As for my client, the flyer is on hold for awhile as we navigate her goals and examine her Trifecta for Triumph. From there, we can determine if the flyer is a good tactic and/or if we need to send the offer in another manner. In order to get the best ROI, this will take further evaluation and analysis.

The order of things is all about getting your brand right before marketing to the masses.

If you don’t follow that order, it’s like you’re throwing paint at the wall and hoping for a smooth coat.

To learn more about my program on effective small business marketing, visit SMART Marketing for Small Business. If you have marketing challenges, I’d love to help. If you have questions, shoot me an email and tell me where you find yourself stuck.